Centuries old Donegal farm is now an idyllic wedding venue

A Donegal farm family has diversified into hosting wedding receptions in one of its restored outbuildings.

Amelia McFarland – who previously worked in the racing industry – returned home two years ago to help her dad, Anthony, run the 100ac family farm. She then proposed the idea for a wedding venue.

Dunmore Gardens is located in Carrigans, close to Derry.

“Lots of people wanted to take photographs in our beautiful walled garden – which my grandmother had looked after,” said Amelia.

“We had loads of outbuildings which were slowly deteriorating. A lot of my friends left Ireland during the downturn and were talking about coming back to get married,” she said.

After a period of extensive research, Amelia decided that going into the wedding market would work on the cereal and cattle farm – which is operational since 1742.

“We grow barley and wheat, and we also keep cattle and breed horses. My grandfather kept pigs and hens and my father slowly changed over to cereals.

After researching the wedding venue market, we invested a substantial amount of our own money into converting one of our gorgeous heritage barns

“We provide the wedding venue, and work in association with a catering company; we also provide accommodation for the bride and groom,” she said.

Image source: Dunmore Gardens Facebook page

Farm manager, Noel Brown, an avid collector of vintage tractors, takes photographs on the big day.

We have had a really positive reaction to the venture. People like that it’s on a farm – with fantastic gardens. It’s so peaceful; the venue is all theirs for the day.

“We attract a real mix of couples. We have a wedding this weekend – a couple from Derry – and, at the end of the year, we will host a wedding for a Canadian couple,” said Amelia who also targets the corporate and retreat market.

“As we get busier, we hope to expand and employ people. The business is only at grassroots level now; restoration is ongoing and we hope to grow the business.”

Further details are available at: www.dunmoregardens.ie